Whitebark Stream You know how
All Welcome  July 22, 2020, 05:51 PM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

Anyone - he be a confused boi

        Things felt strange for the white wolf.
        Recently, there had been more chatter of Donovan. Evidently the beast had banded together a small army worth of wolves to take a territory. Taikon hadn't yet heard the tale that @Dawn had recounted to Artyom, nor had he seen or heard from Aphrodite for several days. The pack territory felt uneasy and unwell, as though the stream was swelling to deal with the thick emotions running through the air. Something didn't feel right, and Taikon wasn't sure what to do with that.
        Taikon was lying about under a few birch trees, enjoying the shade in the afternoon heat. He had woken not long ago, and was once again surprised that it wasn't Aphrodite waking him to send him off on some other plant-hunting adventure. Part of him was glad to have relief from her incessent badgering, but mostly he felt an emptiness without her presence. With the talk of the Saints, he was starting to feel worried.
        He stood up, feeling antsy, needing to move around. He moved closer to the stream from the birch forest, hoping that the waters would help cool his fur and his growing anxiety. Perhaps @Juniper would also be about.
July 22, 2020, 09:06 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
Kiyoshi had wandered a bit too far from the area his mother had designated for exploration. He had not realized he'd made his way outside of that zone until he turned his head and peered back the way he had come with empty eyes and a thin-lipped expression on his puppy features. 

Once he had fixed himself forward, there was another wolf ahead of the pup. Kiyoshi peered at the stranger. Though he was young, he did not show signs of fear when faced with this unknown form. The wolf smelled of the pack, that much could be determined. How much harm could he cause?
July 22, 2020, 09:20 PM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        It was a small floof of a boy that found him at the water's edge, a bit smaller than Juniper and her siblings, but not by much. Though Taikon was never exactly sure how to interact with children, this one was wordless at first, showing the curiosity of a hunter. The white wolf offered a small smile to the pup. 'lo there, he gave a small bow of his head, as if speaking to an adult respectfully. Where'd you come from?
        Taikon looked past the boy toward where he'd ventured out, but saw no sign of his guardians. They were deep enough within pack territory that he wasn't particularly concerned, although he had not rallied with everyone in the pack just yet and was mildly worried what his parents would think of a stranger looking after their boy. I'm Taikon. I'm new, he explained.
July 23, 2020, 12:07 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
The stranger took note of him rather swiftly. He offered a chipper greeting, asking where Kiyoshi had come from. The pup turned his head back in the direction he had wandered from before fixing his sights on the unknown male and offering a plain response of, “I came from home.” It was the truth, after all… even though the young wolf could not quite point out where his home was. Kiyoshi was not too concerned with finding it again.
 
“Taikon is your only name?” the puppy then inquired of his companion. This would be the second wolf he had met that did not have a surname in the pack. It seemed to be an unusual phenomenon for a boy who was proud of his Draconid roots. “My name is Kiyoshi Draconid,” the pup offered to the male with a respectful nod of his head – just as his mother had shown him.
July 23, 2020, 08:22 PM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        The boy was far less bouncy than the firey Juniper, which both surprised and relieved Taikon. He'd quickly grown rather fond of the little beast, but she could be a handful even on her best days. Normally, Aphrodite would have been taking her out for some herbal excursion; he hoped that that's where the girls were today. Any other thoughts worried him greatly.
        He was surprised at the youngster's question. He was pretty sure he was unfamiliar with the concept of a last name until he was at least five months old, but then, he didn't really remember much of childhood to begin with. The prince had gotten used to introducing himself with only his first name. Of course not, he said, as though he was sure everyone had a surname. The boy was Kiyoshi Draconid; it sounded very regal indeed. Taikon Yokoya Tse, he said in full, nodding respectfully once more in return. Your parents have taught you excellent manners, Kiyoshi, said Taikon, amazed at this calm boy.
August 28, 2020, 04:22 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
I am dreadfully sorry for the wait on this. I had someone in my close circle dying of liver failure and I didn't want to reply to you until I could give you a quality post. <3

This unknown adult was quick to respond, offering the entirety of his name with ease. Kiyoshi stared at him with an expression that was unmoved. He was certain that he would not be able to facilitate a repeat of the full name. He knew that his young tongue couldn’t handle the unique sounds, not as easily as its owner had. After another long moment, he parted his lips and spoke as clearly as he could manage, “Tse Taikon.” The name stuck in his mind. Then, as his mother had demonstrated, the young boy dipped his head.
 
“Our mother taught manners,” he then explained to the older wolf, wondering if the other puppies in the pack had missed out on such important life lessons. “Did your mother teach you?” Kiyoshi then inquired. His large puppy head tilted to the left to show a flush of curiosity. For even though Taikon had introduced himself by only his first name, the Draconid puppy was certain that he possessed the ability to speak with others on a respectful level. How else would he have found himself in their ranks?
August 30, 2020, 12:56 AM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

I'm really sorry to hear about the illness in your circle — please never feel pressured by posts when you've got real things going on. Very pleased to read your reply!

        The boy tested the syllables of Taikon's name on with a youthful, calm speaking tone. His name was said inverted, but this was something Taikon knew that others did intentionally, and so made no effort to correct it. Tse was the name of his father's family, and it was nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, he felt lucky not to have taken his mother's name. Though he knew that his father had been equally cruel, it was easier to remember from a person who had been alive when the prince was ousted.
        Manners. Taikon nodded firmly, submitting to the fact that it indeed had been his mother that had taught him this. He made no active show of distaste, but his body tensed slightly. She did, he said. My mother was a queen, and she thought manners were very important, he explained briefly, giving no nod to the fact that it was common among the Farukans to publicly injure those who went against strict regulations of "respectful" conduct.
September 12, 2020, 01:41 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
I appreciate your understanding very much.

A queen... the young boy peered back to the wolf called Taikon and his brow creased. This was a term he had not heard before. It sparked a curiosity in him, though. Kiyoshi wondered if this man would tell him more. 

"Could you tell me more about a queen?" 

His words were dense, but there did seem to be a genuineness to the way he spoke to the older male. Kyoshi was not certain what role he had in their pack, but he imagined Taikon would not be there if he had a penchant for trouble and chaos. So far, he was presenting himself very kindly. This allowed for the pup to trust him with some ease. He drew slightly closer to the tall figure and seated himself, stiff and formal in appearance.
September 21, 2020, 11:37 PM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        As the boy drew nearer, Taikon sat as well, breathing out a lengthy sigh as though to prepare for battle. The white prince rarely spoke of his mother, but children were so open themselves that it made it easier for him to share. He supposed he could avoid talking about his mother entirely by simply explaining what exactly a queen was. He realized as he thought it that was probably what the boy was after.
        Queens are.. Oh. How do you explain politics to a child? Well there's this thing called a monarchy, he started, and made a face, cutting himself off. They're the top woman of the pack, he finally explained. There's the king, the guy, and the queen, the lady, and together they rule the pack all by themselves. They make all the decisions and make other people do the hard stuff, like hunting. He nodded, like he was agreeing with himself. That seemed like a reasonable explanation.
        There are all kinds of rules about like who can be a queen or king, but they are different everywhere, he followed. Over time, he had learned a fair amount about various styles of monarchies.
September 26, 2020, 12:33 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
Taikon did not seem to shy away from the challenge of explaining that portion of his culture to the curious young pup. While Kiyoshi listened to the older male speak, he found his mind churning over the sounds of the words he did not understand fully and those he did not understand at all. When the kind figure had finished his explanation of the monarchy and the roles that they played in the structure of that kind of pack, the stone-faced Draconid peered up at him and nodded his head solemnly.
 
“Queen is important. Queen must be protected,” the young child remarked, believing entirely that he had captured the message that had been shared by Taikon and was willing to accept this contract for a short time. Kiyoshi wondered to himself why the males were referred to by a different name, but he didn’t imagine that had importance or else Taikon would have already shared those details.
 
“Are you… king?” the child then asked.
October 02, 2020, 07:48 PM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        Kiyoshi was a hard little man to read. He looked up quite seriously at his elder packmate, but Taikon wasn't sure if he had understood what he said. He seemed so... still. Taikon nodded at the boy's assessment in agreement. He seemed to understand the basics at least. Pack leaders were indeed important people that needed protection at all costs. The prince knew that all pack members should really be valued equally, but in practice this simply wasn't the case.
        At the question, a twinge of a smile flashed across his lips. He shook his head. No, but I probably would have been if I didn't leave my birth pack. The queen and king's son is called a "prince," and he's the only person who becomes King one day, he explained. If Artyom and Dawn had been considered royalty, Taikon never would have agreed to join the Whitebarks in the first place. He stayed because the pack was tight-knit and small. He stayed because the leaders were not all-powerful. He stayed out of some semblance of... love.
        The smile returned, small as it was. He was happy that Kiyoshi wouldn't need to grow up in such a broken system.
October 06, 2020, 07:35 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
The numerous names for these members of a pack were confusing to the young boy, but he did what he could to appear as though he understood. In this, Kiyoshi nodded his head to the male. He wondered why Taikon had felt like leaving the world he knew so much about, to go somewhere that was different and unexpected. It reminded him faintly of Toshi and his brother’s desire to explore the unknown.
 
“Did you not like to be king?” Kiyoshi inquired, hoping that he might discover more about his new friend Taikon and his reasons for leaving his home. For a boy who had surrounded his life with family, it seemed an oddity that someone would happily step away from that. The young Draconid boy did not understand that this former prince might not have been happy in the family he had been born to.
October 17, 2020, 01:23 AM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        Taikon appreciated the boy's quiet. Though he was missing the company of Juniper, in some ways not being around a bouncy puppy was a mild reprieve; he still hoped she would return to her usual self shortly.
        Once again, Kiyoshi asked a question that gave the prince pause. What might have happened if he had never met Celle? Certainly he would have been married to a woman from a neighbouring pack for diplomacy. He would have taken over as "King" whilst really his mother ran the show from behind the scenes. Ever her puppet, Taikon would have put forth his pretty face on policies that she had designed to keep plebeians in their place. He'd likely have gone along with it all. The royal life was a privileged one. He would never have known true hunger, for neither food nor anything else he desired.
        He took a breath. He would have been an asshole. No, I didn't want to be that important, he said. He couldn't tell the truth. It wasn't child-appropriate. Taikon elaborated. My mother, the Queen, she thought manners were important, but she also was mean to other people. I didn't like it, he offered to the boy, hoping that maybe it would help him understand.
        How exactly did people raise children to not be assholes, anyway?
October 22, 2020, 03:19 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
As the older beast commented on the double-standard that seemed to have been present in his home pack, the young Draconid peered at him intently.
 
It made very little sense to the stalwart youth, that a queen who is supposed to look after her members and lead them, would twist her role so that it favored her own faults and punished others for the very same. It seemed rigged, though he did not have the fundamental language skills to express this line of thought. So, the child peered into Taikon’s gaze and frowned in a way that seemed thoughtful. Kiyoshi had never learned this much from a stranger, he realized.
 
“You are not mean, though,” the boy stated bluntly, looking to the male with a small nod. It was his way of saying your mother’s poor actions did not seem to have a substantial impact on the man you’ve become – congratulations. For the Draconid child, he had taken on many things that his mother had taught to him. He had learned respect from her. He had learned the importance of valuing himself and his history. Perhaps the wolf Taikon learned how to free himself from such things.
 
“Do you miss it?”
October 25, 2020, 01:26 AM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

        You are not mean, though, said Kiyoshi. Taikon blinked. He had always feared that had he not fallen in love with the wrong person, he may very well have been mean. Perhaps even now he was mean, and just didn't have the chance for this character trait to show because he had no power. Under Artyom and Dawn, things were relatively calm except for the onslaught of exterior factors affecting the pack. Their leaders were hardly the power-hungry type, however.
        Thanks, he answered in earnest. He hoped that Kiyoshi would grow with the same nature he carried now. One day, he would make a strong leader.
        Uuh, his voice rose in pitch like a teenager thinking about whether they liked something or not. There were things that were good, like having other people to hunt for you instead of doing that yourself. But no, for the most part it was no good, he explained. He felt odd giving all this information to the boy, but, hey, he had asked. Whitebark is much better, he followed.
October 31, 2020, 07:29 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
Kiyoshi could not hide the expression of surprise that swept across his young features. He’d never heard of the idea of someone else hunting for another, except for to fill the pack’s caches and keep the overall group fed. He wondered if the King and Queen had ever hunted, or if being royalty ensured that they would never need to work. The thoughts that spun through his mind were confusing and intriguing, however the young Draconid was having a hard time piecing together how they managed to keep their members loyal.
 
“How do King and Queen keep their members when they do not contribute?”
 
The question did not beat around the bush. He did fear that he might have been asking too many questions about Taikon’s home – the place he had elected to leave. There were simply too many things about it that were unfamiliar to him and therefore required some minor investigation.
November 02, 2020, 01:29 AM
Taikon
Lone Wolves

The question was something he had to think about. Taikon became noticeably uncomfortable when the boy questioned him. He looked over the the east, an area which held, as far as he was concerned anyway, nothing. Taikon thought during this space, wondering what he could possibly say.
        How do they contribute, hmm, he followed, watching the boy. Kiyoshi was sharp. Taikon could see it right away. In my pack, the lower members were kept by force mostly, he said slowly.
        He would not get into the details with someone so young. Actually, even if Kiyoshi had been older, it was unlikely that Taikon might have revealed any of it. They knew if they left, they wouldn't survive. Or if they did something wrong it... the prince paused. He thought about Cella. About his exit. Nobody had tried to kill him. He had always wondered why. It wouldn't be good, he finished, staring at the boy seriously.
December 03, 2020, 08:54 PM
Kiyoshi
Kingslend
Calf
As Taikon explained more, Kiyoshi furrowed his brow tighter over his gaze. Knowing that the lower members had been kept within the pack by force was a troubling thought. The young Draconid had never heard of such a thing; wolves were meant to be free and to forge their own path of honor and duty. He did not want to fathom the means that they used to enforce this rule and he understood that he had probably asked one too many thing of Taikon. Still, the foreign concept had inspired a great deal of thought in the young boy’s mind. He was grateful to the wolf he had met and the things that he had so willingly shared with young Kiyoshi.
 
“I am… glad that you left a place like that. You are a good wolf for doing so,” Kiyoshi offered to him, unsure if those words were suitable for the situation.  
 
Realizing how long they had been talking, the Draconid boy cast his gaze back in the direction of their family den. He knew that his mother would be looking to round up both boys and there was a good chance that Kiyoshi would need to help find Toshi before settling in for the night. With a glance back toward Taikon, the young boy bowed his head respectfully and wavered his tail.
 
“Thank you for speaking with me. I hope we can talk again.”
 
With that, he ventured back toward his home in search of the comforts of what he knew.